Beijing presses Pyongyang to punish guards for killing Chinese
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Last Updated: Thursday, June 10, 2010, 20:18
Beijing: China pressed North Korea on Thursday to thoroughly probe the firing by its border guards and "severely punish" those responsible for the killing of three of its citizens last week, in a rare formal complaint from Beijing to its close communist ally Pyongyang.

China appeared dissatisfied with Pyongyang’s explanation that the firing was "accidentally" caused and called for severe punishment for those responsible for the deaths on June 4.

"China demands the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, (DPRK) thoroughly investigate the incident, severely punish those responsible for it, and properly deal with issues arising from it," China’s Liaoning provincial government bordering North Korea said today.

The firing came as a shock here as North Korea is regarded as the closest ally of China and dependent on it importing weapons and daily necessities.

The incident took place in early morning of June 4 when some residents of China’s Dandong city, who were suspected of crossing the border for trade activities, were shot by DPRK border guards.

"China attaches great importance to the incident and immediately lodged solemn representations to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, (DPRK)," the provincial government said in a statement.

DPRK border defence authorities had earlier claimed that an initial investigation showed the shooting was "accidental", the statement said.

The DPRK expressed sorrow for the deaths in the incident, and extended condolences to families of the deceased and the injured, official Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

"The DPRK border defence authorities said they would further investigate the incident and prevent such things from happening again," the statement said.

Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday that Beijing lodged strong protest with North Korea in this regard and called for investigations.

Dandong is a major shipping point and rail link for goods going into and out of North Korea from China, far removed from the more isolated parts of the border where many impoverished North Koreans have crossed over to China on their way to seeking asylum in South Korea.

The only time China chided North Korea was when it conducted the nuclear test close to China’s border causing tremors in some of its border towns.


First Published: Thursday, June 10, 2010, 20:18

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